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Misty Belford – Candidate for Brevard County School Board District 1

I grew up in South Brevard and moved to the Central Florida area in 1989 when my parents divorced.  I spent all but two years of my K-12 educational time in Brevard Public Schools. I worked my way through high school and college working at veterinary hospitals in multiple capacities with the intent of going into veterinary medicine.

After working as a hospital administrator and handling the business side of veterinary medicine, I decided I needed to change course.  I earned my Associates Degree from Seminole State College and went on to Rollins College.  I graduated from Rollins College, Summa Cum Laude in 2000 with a B.A. in Organizational Communication and continued my studies at Rollins College graduating in 2002, Summa Cum Laude with an M.A. in Corporate Communication and Technology. During my last semester of graduate school, I was invited to join the faculty of Rollins College after graduation.  I taught in various areas of communication at Rollins including leadership, listening, communication, and small group development for over a decade. 

Meanwhile, in 2003 my husband and I chose to move back to Brevard County when it was time to look at purchasing a home and starting a family.  We now have two amazing children who both attend Brevard Public Schools and we are thankful every day for the community in which we live.  

Since being elected to the School Board in 2014, I have advocated strongly for the North Brevard community. I am proud of the collaborative relationships I have built with school administrators, teachers, parents, students and community leaders.  These relationships have given me a wide understanding of the issues most important to each group and strong relationships to work through challenges.  Through my advocacy for the community, we have expanded choice options, STEAM programs, career and technical education opportunities, increased community and parent involvement, updated facilities and are looking at facility expansions at both South Lake and Mims Elementary. 

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I have had the honor of being elected by my peers on the board to serve as the School Board Chairperson four of the eight years I have served on the board.  My work in my initial year as chairperson in 2016 focused on establishing board protocols and expectations, establishing a 360-degree evaluation for board members, and focusing on team building between district leadership and the board to increase efficiency.  I was re-elected as Board Chairperson in 2019, 2020, and 2021.  I have had the privilege of leading the board through the most difficult three years in the history of education in Brevard.  Despite the many challenges, we kept our schools open and we are showing incredible gains on closing learning gaps that occurred prior to and during the pandemic. We have increased mental health support for our students, faculty and staff, expanded academic support for struggling students, provided food and necessities to families facing challenges, and expanded community support and partnerships in our schools. 

I have had the opportunity to be a committed volunteer for my children’s schools and the school district in many capacities over the years, including leading the PTO at our elementary school to the National PTO of the Year in 2011.  We were blessed to build a wonderful group of volunteers with the primary focus on parent and community involvement in our school and in their child’s education.  I have served on the Parent Leadership Council, provided parent education through Title 1 programming, served on School Advisory Councils, mentored students, served as a substitute teacher, been a Junior Achievement volunteer, volunteered with the Brevard Schools Foundation Supply Zone for teachers and even volunteered at one of our higher risk elementary schools two days per week for a semester working one on one with students in kindergarten through sixth grade who needed additional support to find success. 

I have been blessed to be able to serve in multiple capacities outside of my traditional board duties and local volunteer work as well, while continuing professional development in several areas. I serve on the Florida School Board Association Advocacy Committee, The FSBA Legislative Subcommittee and the FSBA Federal Relations Subcommittee. I graduated Leadership Florida Education Class III, am a certified board member through FSBA, a certified school safety specialist and am youth mental health first aid certified. My service also includes being a board member with Swim Safe Forever, The Brevard Homeless Coalition, and the Florida School Labor Relations Service. 

Beyond work centered around the school system, my husband and I each own our own businesses here in Brevard.  I provide survival swim instruction to children, my husband has a boat repair company, and our family owns an ice cream shop in town, as well, where we are fortunate to employ several of our BPS students! 

As you can likely see, I am totally invested in our schools and our community and it would be my honor to be able to continue to serve. If there is anything I did not cover that you would like to ask me about, please feel free to reach out to me at belford4schoolboard@gmail.com.  I am happy to answer any questions that you may have. I thank you for taking time to learn a bit about me and I welcome your support!

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